Middle school consolidation to go to referendum

Local News

The taxpayers in Pulaski County will get to decide whether or not the county should build a new middle school.

The school district is interested in building a new middle school for the entire county to replace both Pulaski and Dublin middle schools. But it will require a tax increase.

The county board of supervisors voted Monday night to put the issue up for a referendum in November instead of just voting on the project themselves.

At the meeting, several parents and teachers spoke in favor of the project, saying the two middle schools in the county are in disrepair and don’t have the right technology to help students learn.

But some people raised concerns about the project, saying they would like to see the county find a less expensive way to build a new middle school.

The school superintendent has said it would cost the average county taxpayer, who owns a $121,000 property, about $8 more per month in taxes.

“We just need to do better for our students,” said Julie Gill, who supports the consolidated middle school project. “They deserve better. All of our elementary schools are up to par. Our high school is awesome. But our middle schools are where the weak link is.”

“Cost-effective and common sense,” said Walter Viers, who has concerns about the project. “It’s not what we want – it’s what we need. You got to go with what we need.”

The school board decided to ask the board of supervisors for slightly more funding for the project Monday, raising the cost from $45.7 million to $47 million. That now includes the costs of road and sewer work for the project, along with the issuance of bonds, according to officials.

While many supporters of the project wanted to see it approved by the board of supervisors Monday night, they said they will now do all they can to make sure voters approve the project in November.

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